preface to epitaph, anne carson and nox in london nov 2010

 

Anne Carson Iceland 2009 [Photo Einar Falur Ingolfsson]

[Notes on Carson’s London reading of Nox, a couple of years after the last advertised event -in the wake of Decreation and also at SBC- was cancelled. They posted themselves raw a few days ago, here they are at least spell-checked…]

The first and easy thing to say about my obvious need to catch Anne Carson reading in London [Southbank Centre Poetry International Festival opening event Tuesday Nov 3] is that having gone only to see/hear the most significant poet in the English language actually read, perform, be in public the whole event was an instructive delight.

Carson was the last on of 6 poets, all of whom were worth seeing/hearing -if not memorable as such or as yet- but notable for me Continue reading “preface to epitaph, anne carson and nox in london nov 2010”

the model hip! hip! ben sonnenberg

Edward_Said_With_Ben_Sonnenberg

Edward Said and Ben Sonnenberg mid-80s [Photo Alexander Cockburn]

I liked and admired Ben Sonnenberg [though can’t claim to be one of his many close friends, nor did I ever meet him]; a man whose mind encompassed [and published] Anne Carson, James Salter and Edward Said, who understood what money was for, someone who left his beautiful and brilliant Grand Street magazine as the model of a good mind at work.

This piece by Alexander Cockburn [here link updated Apr 2020. PDF added below] is  a very warm remembrance of his friend Sonnenberg [1938-2010] following his memorial service in September, which I recommend to you:

“My favorite autobiographers in this century are Vladimir Nabokov, Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin.” A paragraph later he cited “my friend Edward Said,” whose savage essay “Michael Walzer’s ‘Exodus and Revolution’ – a Canaanite Reading” Ben had published in Grand Street in 1986.”

 

You might also dig up Salter’s account of Sonnenberg in Burning the Days; his much-admired aplomb in general and in the face of MS. Cockburn quotes Sonnenberg taking an elegant lance to The New Republic mag in 1989; oh for “puckish” courage of that kind today.

Continue reading “the model hip! hip! ben sonnenberg”